March 2018 Meeting – Photography: A Naturalist’s Tool

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Meeting will be: Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm

 

 

Nature observation is a fundamental practice that we, as Naturalists, engage in every day. Each of us is drawn towards something different in nature, be it a silent flock of migrating waxwings, a lonely primrose by the creek, the sight of an approaching thunderstorm or a sudden crop of mushrooms on a favorite trail. It is this simple act of acquiring information from the primary source using our senses that connects us with our environment and defines us as Naturalists.

Photography is an effective way of collecting, documenting and sharing our observations. Given that most of us have a smartphone with us everywhere we go, we will see how powerful this tool can be for a naturalist. Access to a camera is easier and cheaper than ever before!

Learn simple techniques to create compelling pictures that tell a story. Get introduced to principles of positioning and balance that help you get sharp and quick compositions out in the field or sitting at your desk. Find answers to some common challenges!

‘Why do I get blurred pictures?’

‘Why is the horizon crooked on my panoramas?’

‘Urgg!! My phone focuses on the background instead of the wildflower!’

‘How do I photograph for iNaturalist?’

If you can look at and admire beauty in nature, then you can certainly teach yourselves to photograph the same. Come, find inspiration to photograph with confidence and add your pictures to the stories you share this year.

Note: Although the talk highlights smartphone cameras, it is equally relevant to a user of any camera. You are welcome to bring along any camera you are comfortable with.

About the Speaker: Stalin SM

A Dallas resident for the past three years, Stalin grew up in a small town in southern India (not Russia!). He was introduced to the NTMN community through Jim Varnum and Dana Wilson within weeks of moving to Texas. He certified as a Texas Master Naturalist (North Texas Chapter) in 2015. Volunteering and learning with the NTMN community has made his stay here in the US more meaningful than anything else. Passionate about traveling and being outdoors in nature, he enjoys gardening, trekking and motorcycling through the Indian subcontinent.

He sees photography as an extension of his passions and a way to share what he enjoys with others. The magic of preserving memories through a photograph captivated him from a very early age. He took it up as a serious hobby in college when he got himself a ‘camera phone’ back in 2005. Since then he has photographed with various point-and-shoot cameras and an array of digital SLRs. He has been part of multiple nature expeditions as a documentary photographer. Personally, he considers these contributions more satisfying than the photography contests he has won.

Stalin has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from the National Institute of Technology – Trichy, India. He works as a Semiconductor Design Engineer with Texas Instruments. Along with his partner Dodi, he immensely enjoys connecting kids with nature and cooking spicy Indian food for their friends.

The March 2018 Chapter meeting:

Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Schedule:
6:30 Meet and eat
7:00 Introduction and Announcements
7:20 Featured Presentation
8:45 Adjournment

The meeting place for March is:

Meadows Conference Center
Oak Corner Conference Room
2900 Live Oak Street
Dallas, TX 75204
214-821-0911

As always all of our meetings are free and open to the public.

Hope to see YOU there!

Jim’s This and That – February 2018

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HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY! It’s official – early this morning (Feb. 2), Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, thus predicting 6 more weeks of winter. The announcement came via this traditional poetic announcement: “Up early this morning. Far from home. Are you searching for the Phil-osopher’s stone? Well, even my best friends, they don’t know. Is it an early spring or just more snow,” the proclamation read. “My faithful followers, your hands (and my paws) are getting cold so here is my forecast. Not lead, but solid gold: I see… Read More →

February 2018 Meeting – Indian Marker Trees: Living witnesses to the history of a past civilization.

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 Meeting will be: Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm

 

 

American Indians used trees not only to mark a trail, but also to signal the presence of important features, some of which were critical for survival. Indian marker trees are living witnesses and a significant part of this nation’s cultural heritage. Volunteers for the Texas Historic Tree Coalition (TxHTC) are working hard to find, research, verify, recognize and celebrate these priceless cultural treasures.

TxHTC is passionate in its purpose to increase awareness and understanding of Indian marker trees. The coalition promotes wise and responsible stewardship of these trees and views them as natural assets that must be carefully managed. TxHTC strives to help others recognize their significance to the traditions of American Indians and the American legacy.

 

About the Speaker. Life in the tree care business began for Dallas native Steve Houser while he attended morning college classes and simultaneously spent afternoons maintaining the trees at Brookhaven Country Club in Farmers Branch, Texas. Nights and week-ends he fed his passion for flying and became a licensed FAA aviation mechanic, attended Pilot Ground School, and scored 100 percent on the Federal Aviation Administration exam, a rare feat.

One of the first certified arborists in Texas, Steve is owner/president of a Dallas-Fort Worth area tree-care experts firm that he started 37 years ago. The firm employs many of the state’s top consulting arborists, as well as national and international award-winning tree climbers. He is well regarded by his peers within the industry. The Steve Houser Award of Excellence (aka “The Houser Cup”), established in 2001, is awarded each year to the Texas state tree-climbing champion by the International Society of Arboriculture, Texas Chapter.

In his spare time, Steve contributes more than 1,000 volunteer hours each year to worthwhile tree-related causes, educating the public about trees and natural resource-related issues. He teaches forest ecology to Master Naturalists and biology and arboriculture to Master Gardeners in North Central Texas.

The February 2018 Chapter meeting:

Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Schedule:
6:30 Meet and eat
7:00 Introduction and Announcements
7:20 Featured Presentation
8:45 Adjournment

The meeting place for February is:

Meadows Conference Center
Oak Corner Conference Room
2900 Live Oak Street
Dallas, TX 75204
214-821-0911

As always all of our meetings are free and open to the public.

Hope to see YOU there!

Jim’s This & That, January 2018

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JIM’S THIS & THAT January 2018: Happy New Year! Take a look inside for… 1. Links to community calendars … and including … 2. News You Can Use: articles, activities, and resources 3. Area organizations & locations for eco-recreation & education *** And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings. Meister Eckhart *** Jim’s This & That is a personal communication, begun by avid naturalist Jim Varnum, which strives to fulfill Jim’s vision of connecting individuals interested in the natural… Read More →